The short answer is YES, and studies have been done on this that show that using a cervical neck collar for a cervical radiculopathy is better than doing nothing.
For beginners, What is a Cervical radiculopathy? This occurs when nerves roots in the neck that exit out of the vertebrae (bones) are compressed. This negatively affects nerve function. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area, can cause symptoms such as neck pain, weakness, numbness and tingling into the arms and the hands, and shooting pains.
Often times your orthopedic doctor may recommend a course of physical therapy. This usually involves neck traction, moist heat packs, stretching and e-stim for the muscle pain. They will also recommend medications for pain and inflammation.
But what can you do at home? For starters, some type of neck traction can help. Also,wearing a cervical collar has shown to be beneficial for patients with a cervical radiculopathy.
Back in 2009, A Dutch study concluded that using a semi-hard cervical collar and doing rest for 3-6 weeks or physical therapy along with home exercises for 6 weeks decreased neck and arm pain substantially compared with a “wait and see” policy in the early phase of a cervical radiculopathy condition. In this study, a randomized controlled trial of 205 patients with symptoms and signs of cervical radiculopathy of less than 1 month's duration were evaluated.
They found that the subject’s neck pain did not decrease significantly in the first 6 weeks, whereas the cervical collar and rest resulted in a 17-mm reduction on the visual analogue scale and physical therapy resulted in a decrease of 14 mm. The neck disability index showed a significant change with the use of the collar and rest and a nonsignificant effect with physiotherapy and home exercises, compared with a wait-and-see policy.
For night time, using a traction pillow will help ease the pain, and put you into a comfortable position for sleeping. Using a pillow such as this with contours and a neck roll can help relieve pain from a bulging disc or pain that results from a radiculopathy.
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